North Dakota Crude Production Spurs Refinery Construction

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Work on one of two new refineries being built in North Dakota recently got under way. The 20,000 bpd  Dakota Prairie facility is scheduled to be built in 20 months. The impetus for the state’s second and third refineries is the rapid increase in demand for diesel fuel and kerosene for trucking and industrial use within the state. Much of the increase in demand has been fueled by the boom in crude oil production from new wells in the Bakken formation in North Dakota’s northwest corner. The demand for these middle distillates rose 80% in North Dakota from 2009 to 2012, providing the incentive to invest in local refineries.
  North Dakota currently has one refinery, the Tesoro Mandan refinery, located near Bismarck. This refinery has a capacity of 60,000 bpd, and its primary products include diesel fuel, jet fuel, heavy fuel oils, and liquefied petroleum gas. The two new refineries are smaller, both rated at 20,000 bpd capacity, and both will be fairly simple units that focus on creating the diesel and kerosene that are needed locally.
  The Dakota Prairie refinery, which just broke ground, is a joint venture of MDU Resources Group and Calumet Specialty Products and will primarily make diesel fuel.
  The Trenton Diesel Refinery is also planned, but no start-up date has been announced.